A fall from grace: what happened to Josh Gordon?

A fall from grace: what happened to Josh Gordon?

Mac Boike, Sports Reporter

Born in Houston, Texas, Gordon’s upbringing would be a huge part of his downfall. From being sent from home to home, then meshing into a gangbanger and a drug addict, Josh Gordon has been through the worst of the worst. That does not stop him though from becoming one of the most dominant wide receivers in the early 2010s then becoming a journeyman trying to get reinstated in the NFL.

Josh did not have a father in his life after the age of six. When Josh was six years old, his father had lost his job and lost faith in his family, which led to his father leaving Josh, two brothers, and his mother in Houston alone in an unstable household. There was said to be apparent drug abuse in the house which would foreshadow what would end up killing Josh’s NFL career.

When Josh was in seventh grade, he started experimenting with Marijuana to cope with the pain of his life. He was also kicked out of two different middle schools for “behavioral issues”. With the start of seventh grade, Xanax was another one of his new addictions. He would start laughing and making jokes about his addiction to his classmates. He also suffered from social anxiety and would touch on it in many different interviews.

In high school, he went to Westbury Christian School, getting expelled as a sophomore. He moved to Lamar Highs School, a public school with 4,000 students in a city that had a high crime rate. He became a track and football star as a senior, recording 25 catches for 533 yards and 9 touchdowns. But during recruitment, Gordon fell into trouble with the law. Josh was arrested for credit card theft and had to spend 35 days in prison. He also had parole, so he decided to attend Baylor University so he could stay in the state of Texas and practice.

Baylor was a hurdle that lied between Gordon’s NFL career. He was never randomly drug tested before, and these tests happened frequently during the offseason and regular season.

Flash forward to his sophomore year, and that’s when major improvements were starting to be made. After having just one catch in his freshman season, Gordon had a breakout year, hauling in 42 catches for 714  yards with 7 touchdowns as a sophomore.

Just as he was finding success, Josh was arrested for possession of Marijuana when he and former teammate Willie Jefferson fell asleep in the Taco Bell drive-thru. Gordon then left college and entered the supplemental draft after being kicked out of Baylor for failed drug tests. He actually picked the University of Utah as his next school but was kicked out because of another failed drug test.

After posting good numbers in the supplemental NFL draft combine, Gordon was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the second round of the 2012 supplemental draft. The Browns had been struggling for years before they drafted Josh and required a star wide receiver. As a rookie, Gordon stood out early and had 50 catches for 805 yards with 5 touchdowns. He was believed to be one of the next NFL greats in his second year after snatched 87  catches for 1646 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Again, Gordon was addicted to Marijuana. In 2014, Gordon was suspended for 11 games because of Marijuana use. Then again in 2016, he had to sit the whole season because of his use and met Johnny Manziel, another player that wasn’t a great influence. Manziel struggled early and got cut after a few seasons and would never return to the NFL

It did not take Gordon long to realize his drug addiction was a problem. Back in 2016, he was said to be walking the streets at 11:30 at night looking for any drugs he could find. He would never find anyone and was getting more and more frustrated. Suddenly, he snapped back into reality and realized he needed to quit. He finally tried to get help and got reinstated in 2017.

In 2018, Gordon was traded from the Browns to the Patriots where he struggled with inconsistencies. He finished with 40 receptions for 702 yards with 3 touchdowns. The Patriots would go on to win the Super Bowl that year by a score of 13-3 against the Los Angeles Rams.

In 2019, Gordon was picked up off waivers by the Seattle Seahawks, his current team. He appeared in five games and started one last year, catching 7 passes for 139 yards. In 2019, he also earned his fifth suspension from the NFL and is still waiting for reinstatement to this day. Hopefully one day he will find a way to turn his life and NFL career around.